4 things to consider when caring for aging relatives

Depending on how quickly you’ve had to make changes in your routine to be of assistance to your aging parents or relatives, it can feel very overwhelming. There are also a lot of unanswered questions that can occur as this is unfolding. According to a study by AARP, there are some 40 million people in the United States considered to be family caregivers. Of the 40 million, 1 in 4 are millennials. Ease your anxiety about how to properly care for your aging relative and establish a new normal that works for all parties involved. 

Offer understanding 

Understand the financial mindset and experiences of the individual before you approach them to have a money conversation. Oftentimes, older generations may share different thoughts and opinions as it relates to money. It can appear invasive, even if they’re your parent. Take into consideration that the softer your approach, the easier the conversations may go – resulting in better preparation for you, your family, and your parents. 

Establish a routine 

The easiest way to care for your parents while also managing your personal home life is to establish some sort of routine. Determine what days work best for you to clean, cook, care for, run errands, attend doctor visits or simply spend time with your parents. This helps your parents get accustomed to any changes and maintain your own personal sanity in the process. This may be a bit of work on the front end, but it will get easier as time passes. 

Solicit the help of others 

Remember, you are only one person. If you have family in the area, make this a collaborative effort so the strain won’t be solely dependent on one person. Consider utilizing home health care services for professional assistance. This can free up some of your personal time while also still ensuring your parents are in great care. Not sharing this responsibility can create many instances of unintentional neglect and personal burnout. In order to be the best person for your parents, you must be a good person to yourself first. 

Communicate often 

It’s easy to become so focused on getting things done that you actually neglect the other person in this equation. Maintain an open line of communication with your parents to make sure they understand what’s going on and how this newly established routine will benefit both of you. Take time to locate important documents so they can be easily accessible in case of an emergency. 

Remember to be gentle with yourself. 

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The Finance Bar is a personal finance suite helping women and couples achieve financial wellness through financial therapy, education, and an innovative learning hub on wheels. Creator Marsha Barnes is Certified in Financial Therapy, Financial Social Work, and serves as an Official FICO Brand Ambassador, and was named GOBankingRates’ Best Money Expert in the Net-Worth Category.

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